2011 Resolution

CONVENTION – May 5, 2011
Sheila K. Derman, Chair


The Federation has a long standing  position opposed to government interference in the right of a woman in voluntary consultation with her clergy, medical professionals, and family to make decisions about her reproductive life. Since the Supreme Court decision “Roe v Wade” in 1973, giving women the right to choose, much legislation and regulations at the Federal, State and Local levels have been introduced and passed to severely restrict this right. These include parental notification and consent, the consent of the biological father even in cases of rape, the elimination of both public and private funding, bans on procedures that could save a woman’s life, and limiting access to medical services, information and education, which includes informing women who have been raped about the “morning after pill”. There are also many attempts to restrict access to contraception and pregnancy prevention information. Two of the current most outrageous are the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (a vote may take place May 4, 2011) which would ban public funding for abortion, contraception, and screening for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and would also prohibit women and families from buying private coverage for these services and legislation that would redefine rape subjecting survivors of rape and incest who choose abortion to Internal Revenue Service audits (H.R. 3).

Therefore the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland in convention assembled on May 5, 2011 resolves:

  1. To continue to oppose government interference in a woman’s right to determine all aspects of her reproductive health.

  2. To support access to education and medical services for all women regarding their reproductive health.

  3. To oppose all legislation and regulations that prohibit funding for women’s health and that ban procedures that save women’s lives.

  4. To oppose all attempts that redefine rape and punish women for their victimization and subsequent decisions.


Respect for the dignity of labor has been an important theme in Judaism for centuries. Equity is a guiding principle as expressed in LEVITICUS  that landowners are commanded to share their bounty to leave the gleanings from the corners of their fields for the poor, especially women.  Today’s reality is that even though Congress passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. It is interesting to note that March marked the 100th Anniversary of the infamous “Triangle Fire” that took the lives of 143 young women and was the catalyst that improved the working conditions in the garment industry in New York City, lead by many Jewish women. However the pay inequities and gender discrimination continue as shown by the women of Wal-Mart whose case Dukes v. Wal-Mart  was just heard by the United States Supreme Court, a case that involved discrimination in pay and promotion for women. Also, the failure of Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act  which allows workplace pay discrimination to continue.

Therefore, the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland in convention assembled on May 5, 2011 resolves:

  1. To urge stricter enforcement of pay equity laws, improvements in restrictive pension policies for women, and support for measures that will reduce the wage gap.

  2. To urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act  to provide safeguards for women against workplace pay discrimination.

  3. To educate our constituents on this issue and to encourage advocacy in the Jewish tradition.


The Federation along with most Jewish organizations has had a long standing position supporting the democratically elected government of the State of Israel. For many years, the American Jewish community has been in agreement and has created strong bipartisan support for Israel and her right to exist in the U.S. Congress and with the Administration. Currently we are witnessing a change in the political climate of the Middle East. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been forced out of power after 30 years. While we celebrate this victory for democratic aspirations, we remain wary of Egypt’s next government, especially in regard to the continuation of the three decade peace with Israel. Most of the new leaders have not called for an end to the country’s peace with Israel but some have said the details of the 1979 Camp David Accords may need to be reassessed. Of special interest- Judge Richard Goldstone, chair of the Goldstone Report on the 2008-2009 Gaza War retracted the essential findings of the report, stating that “unlike Hamas, Israel did not intentionally, as a matter of public policy, target civilians”. The Goldstone report has done major damage to the image of Israel and while Judge Goldstone has rescinded his findings, it is imperative that the United Nations do the same. Further, there is great concern that the Palestinian Authority now seeks to declare a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood and recognition by the United National General Assembly. This recognition would give the Palestinians unwarranted legitimacy—allowing them to avoid direct, bilateral negotiations with Israel.

Therefore the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations of Maryland in convention assembled on May 5, 2011 resolves:

  1. To monitor the situation in Egypt and to encourage and support the 30 year old peace agreement.

  2. To urge the United States Senate to support S.R. 138, calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report.

  3. To urge the United States Government to oppose Palestinian Authority efforts to declare a state unilaterally, seeking recognition by the United Nations and other governments.

  4. To urge President Obama and the U.S. Congress to continue its support for Israel in every way, enabling the establishment of peace and security and providing necessary foreign aid.

  5. To continue to support the democratically elected government of the State of Israel in its quest for peace and security and to urge our constituents and the American Jewish community to do the same.


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